Although the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) gives Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) substantial authority once the exclusive purview of NJDEP, not all of the functions held by NJDEP case managers under the pre-SRRA process for remediation will be transferred to the LSRP. Such is the case with Alternate Remediation Standards (ARS). An ARS is a remediation standard developed for use at a given site based on site-specific conditions and risks that is often less restrictive than adopted standards. One of the laws modified by SRRA continues to allow the use of ARS in lieu of the established minimum soil remediation standards for residential or non-residential use. » Read the rest of this entry «
Site Remediation Reform Act: How Will the Act Impact the Use of Alternate Remediation Standards (ARS)?
Site Remediation Reform Act: Will the New Permit Program for Operation, Maintenance and Inspection of Engineering and Institutional Controls be Different from NJDEP’s Current Biennial Certification Program?
Currently, NJDEP requires a biennial certification for engineering and institutional controls. Every two years, a certification must be prepared, signed and submitted to NJDEP reporting on the monitoring, inspection and maintenance for caps, covers, fences, signs, Classification Exception Areas (CEAs), deed notices and other engineering and institutional controls implemented as part of the remediation of a contaminated site. Under the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), NJDEP will now be implementing a new permit program for this purpose. NJDEP is wrestling with the best way to move forward with the transition of these requirements into a permit program. » Read the rest of this entry «
Draft DEP Guidance Calls For Local Zoning Approval for Cleanups that Could Delay or Block Remediation or Development Projects?
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (”DEP”) is taking another weapon out of its abundant arsenal, which may make it harder to implement reasonable remedial actions and delay cleanups. Under draft guidance, titled “Requirements for Remedial Actions Rendering Properties Unusable,” issued on October 5, 2009, DEP plans to implement a seemingly innocuous provision of the Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”): » Read the rest of this entry «
There are two significant provisions in the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) that will impact how NJDEP pursues its claims for Natural Resource Damages (NRD). The first is a fairly obvious change to existing law (the Statute of Limitations) setting deadlines for the state to bring a claim for NRD. The second, and more significant provision, stems from a subtle reference nestled amid NJDEP’s newly defined powers of direct remedial oversight. » Read the rest of this entry «
The Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) will affect the choice and pace of remedies. SRRA provides that, for any site that is to be used for residential purposes, a licensed day care center, a public or private school, or a charter school, the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) must ensure that the person responsible for conducting the remediation completes the remediation in a manner that complies with either unrestricted use standards, a soon to be established “Presumptive Remedy,” or an alternative remedy approved by the NJDEP. » Read the rest of this entry «
Site Remediation Reform Act: What Does Executive Order No. 140 Add to the Licensend Site Remediation Professional Program?
As with any new and major environmental law, the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) had its share of critics from all ends of the political spectrum. The New Jersey environmental activist community was among the most vocal objectors to certain aspects of the proposed Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) legislation. Executive Order No. 140 was designed by the Governor’s Office to ease the concerns of the environmental groups. » Read the rest of this entry «
Site Remediation Reform Act: How Does the Act Impact My Next Brownfield Project, Property Sale or Other Business Transaction?
The Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) will have significant impacts on commercial transactions. In addition to the learning curve in familiarizing sellers, buyers and lenders with new terminology and the loss of some of the familiar mechanisms, such as the No Further Action (NFA) letter issued by NJDEP and the signed Covenant Not to Sue set forth in a NFA, SRRA requires some new strategic thinking by parties to a transaction. Particular issues include broader obligations to report and remediate contamination and an impact on funding options. » Read the rest of this entry «
SRRA effectively abolishes the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) for responsible parties by 1) creating an affirmative obligation to remediate the discharge of a hazardous substance and 2) requiring remediation activities to be performed in accordance with mandatory remediation time frames and/or expedited site specific time frames.
Prior to the enactment of SRRA, owners and operators of contaminated properties in New Jersey had several potential remedial options, depending upon the circumstances: » Read the rest of this entry «
Although the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) will not have a dramatic impact on the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) program as it does with the remediation process in general, SRRA has not left the ISRA program untouched. SRRA has added some additional options with respect to ISRA compliance.
The most significant new addition to ISRA is the opportunity to use a Remediation Certification, rather than a Remediation Agreement (formerly an Administrative Consent Order), to close a transaction prior to achieving ISRA compliance. » Read the rest of this entry «
If things go according to NJDEP’s plans, all but a handful of sites will proceed through remediation at a much faster pace under the direction of newly minted Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) and without intervention by NJDEP (except through performance of the occasional audit). LSRPs will meet mandatory time frames, implement LSRP-selected remedies or any presumptive remedies, where applicable, and issue the Response Action Outcome (RAO) confirming that remediation is complete. In a few circumstances, however, NJDEP will remain involved in and have direct oversight of the remediation process. SRRA makes that oversight mandatory in certain cases. In other cases, NJDEP will be able to assume direct oversight at its discretion. » Read the rest of this entry «
Site Remediation Reform Act: How Will a Response Action Outcome Issued by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional Differ From a No Further Action Issued by the NJDEP?
The No Further Action Letter or NFA is a familiar document to the regulated community and its lenders in New Jersey. A certain comfort level has developed over time with the NFA issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). As with any new regulatory concept, the introduction of the Response Action Outcome (RAO) issued by a newly permitted Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) will undoubtedly cause some initial concern. » Read the rest of this entry «
Site Remediation Reform Act: How will SRRA Affect my Relationship With or Use of Environmental Consultants?
Currently, the majority of persons that have responsibility for remediating contaminated sites engage one or more independent environmental consultants to perform the actual remediation work and to provide technical advice and support when dealing with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Now, pursuant to SRRA, “persons responsible for conducting remediation” (PRCR) (i.e., the client) are required to hire a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) (i.e., the client’s environmental consultant) to oversee and approve the remediation. Already, some environmental consulting firms are working on having their employees licensed as LSRPs and soon some PRCRs may discover that environmental consultants they currently employ have become LSRPs. A newly constituted Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board (Board) will regulate the conduct of LSRPs and insure their compliance with the many provisions of SRRA intended to guide or govern LSRPs’ decision-making. The new LSRP program raises several issues concerning how the relationship between PRCRs and the environmental consultants they hire will look going forward:
- how best to protect the interests of PRCRs in their communications with LSRPs;
- whether to devote additional in-house resources to overseeing remediation projects and the work of the LSRP;
- how to manage client and consultant expectations for identifying remedial issues, documenting choices, and resolving disagreements;
- whether to hire an independent consultant to oversee or conduct remediation work; and
- how to navigate between LSRPs and independent consultants. » Read the rest of this entry «